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Fishing Priest Lake

AKA: Priest Reservoir

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Priest Lake, ID

Popular Fish Species Priest Lake, ID

Priest Lake Popular Fish - Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee Salmon Fishing

Sockeye salmon which remain landlocked, never migrating to the ocean, are called kokanee salmon. On-going stocking of kokanee salmon by the Idaho Fish and Game helps to maintain a nice population for the fishery. Typically kokanee average one to two pounds. As one of the premiere kokanee fishing lakes in Idaho, Priest Lake delivers plenty of fish above normal averages. These tasty fish school in lakes at depths which remain at ideal temperatures of between 48 and 58 degrees. Once this depth is identified, use a fish finder to locate schools. Use small lures trolled at the appropriate depth. The can also be caught using corn, but the main way they are caught is using flashy lures which they attack when the lure intrudes their space. In winter, once the ice is safe, try ice fishing for kokanee.

Priest Lake Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Priest Lake continues to sustain a healthy smallmouth bass population. Many locals enjoy smallmouth fishing, as smallies are tough fighters and very exciting to catch. Smallmouth bass fishing is good virtually anytime they are shallow. Use shallow spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, crankbaits, tube baits and jerkbaits around rip rap. Around grass, use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons. Rock piles and points are prime areas for smallmouth as these areas are also home to crawfish. When the lake freezes over, consider ice fishing for smallies.

Priest Lake Popular Fish - Bluegill

Bluegill Fishing

Fishing for bluegill is a time-honored tradition at Priest Lake. Young and old, beginners and seasoned anglers alike, all enjoy catching a bunch of fat bluegill. This year, much like recent years, the bluegill population is healthy and always looking for something to eat. Bluegill fishing is as basic as fishing gets. Any pole, reasonably small line and small hooks baited with anything edible, creates the ideal setup. Add a bobber and you can set the depth you prefer the bait to position. Bluegill hang around brush, rocks, vegetation or any cover available. When the lake freezes over, try your luck at ice fishing.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, cutthroat trout, lake trout, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch and kokanee salmon at Priest Lake in Idaho.

Priest Lake Fishing Video

Priest Lake, located in the northernmost part of Idaho, is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. This breathtaking lake, nestled amidst the pristine Selkirk Mountains, offers a serene setting and exceptional angling opportunities. Anglers are drawn to Priest Lake for its diverse fish populations and the chance to catch some of Idaho's most prized fish species.

Nestled in a beautiful high-mountain setting, Priest Lake is a 23,000-acre lake providing fishing opportunities for bass, trout, bluegill, sunfish, perch and salmon. This appealing gem is located in the upper northern section of Idaho, one mile east of Nordman.

One of the prized catches in Priest Lake is the trophy-sized lake trout, also known as mackinaw. These deep-dwelling predators provide an exhilarating angling experience, with their powerful runs and impressive size. Priest Lake is also home to other popular fish species such as kokanee salmon, cutthroat trout, and bull trout. Anglers can employ various techniques, such as trolling, jigging, or fly fishing, to target these sought-after species.

Priest Lake is a true gem in Idaho, captivating anglers and nature lovers with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Whether you're casting a line for lake trout, cruising the lake's pristine waters, or spending nights camping under the starry sky, Priest Lake promises an unforgettable experience. Its diverse fish populations, boating amenities, and picturesque camping areas make it a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor adventures in northern Idaho.

Much of the 80 miles of shoreline is surrounded by roadways providing access to multiple places to fish from the bank or launch a canoe or kayak. The lake has no HP restrictions for pleasure or fishing boats and numerous boat launch ramps facilitate boating access. Rental boats are also available. Much of the lake is lined with boat docks, a favorite hangout for bass, crappie and sunfish. Marinas, camping, shopping and a variety of eating establishments are at the lake or very close by. Setting at an elevation of 2,440 feet above sea level, the lake offers year-round fishing including ice fishing in winter any time there is safe ice.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Idaho

Primary fish species residing in Priest Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Cutthroat trout Lake trout Bluegill Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yellow Perch Kokanee salmon

Priest Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Beyond fishing, Priest Lake offers ample opportunities for boating enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain scenery, boaters can enjoy leisurely cruises, engage in water sports, or explore the lake's secluded coves and bays. Whether you prefer sailing, powerboating, kayaking, or paddleboarding, Priest Lake provides a picturesque and tranquil environment to enjoy a day on the water.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Blue Diamond Marina and Resort
Rentals: Fishing boats, pontoons, canoes and kayaks
208 443-2240

Elkins Resort On Priest Lake
Rentals: Fishing boats and pontoon boats
208 443-2432

Priest Lake Marina
Rentals: Fishing boats and pontoon boats
208 443-2405

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Priest Lake Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off W Lakeshore Road, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.


Blue Diamond Marina and Resort
958 Blue Diamond Rd
Coolin, ID 83821
208 443-2240

Granite Creek Marina
491 Granite Creek Marina Rd
Nordman, ID 83848
510 847-3809

Priest Lake Marina
6515 W Lakeshore Rd
Priest Lake, ID 83856
208 443-2405

Fishing Guides On Priest Lake

Fins & Feathers Guide Trips - lake trout

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Idaho Fishing License.

Camping is a popular activity for those seeking to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Priest Lake. The area offers several campgrounds, both public and private, where visitors can set up their tents or park their RVs. Camping near Priest Lake allows anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to wake up to breathtaking lake views, enjoy evenings under starry skies, and have convenient access to the fishing hotspots along the shoreline.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Beaver Creek Campground - 208 443-1801

Priest Lake State Park Campground - 208 443-2200

Osprey Campground - 208 443-3340

Outlet at Priest Lake Campground - 208 443-8053

Lodging Nearby

Inn At Priest Lake - 208 443-2447

Elkins Resort On Priest Lake - 208 443-2432

Grandview Resort - 208 443-2433

Blue Diamond Marina and Resort - 208 443-2240

Priest Lake ID Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Priest Lake
Priest Lake Marina & Resort
6515 W Lakeshore Rd
Priest River, ID 83856
208 443-2405


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Priest Lake in Idaho.

Information about fishing lakes in Idaho

Priest Lake provides opportunities for bass, trout, bluegill, sunfish, perch and salmon fishing in northern Idaho.

Fishing on Priest Lake.